Harness the power of the sun. You can, you know, right in your own backyard. Solar lights do just that. Light up your patio or yard with a green, eco-friendly, low cost alternative to line-powered lighting. Speaking of green, imagine your neighbor's reaction when they realize you aren't paying an astronomical (pun intended) electric bill!
Solar lights are typically stand-alone, self sustaining units composed of an LED lamp. a photovoltaic cell, and a rechargeable battery. The photovoltaic cell is the device that converts solar power into electricity, which is then stored in the battery. Two or more photovoltaic cells are referred to as a solar panel. Electricity is produced and stored in the battery during the day and the lights come on automatically at dusk.
Solar-powered lights serve a dual role in residential applications. Some are meant to be utilitarian, lighting pathways and pool areas, while others are whimsical and decorative only, often in animal shapes. Most are used outdoors, but there are indoor applications as well, such as garage lighting. Indoor lights are designed with a solar panel separate from the light itself. In this case, only the photovoltaic panel has to be positioned for maximum exposure to the sun. Indoor units are usually equipped with switches, allowing the stored energy to be used only when needed.
In homes, even when the primary purpose of the lights is to increase safety outside, the lights themselves can become a design element as well, offering a bit of beauty and depth to the nighttime landscape.
Do you decorate your home with lights for the holidays? Do you need to take out a second mortgage to pay for the electric bill? Well, think solar. Strings of solar powered lights can be used just like their power-hungry counterparts. Your home can become the sensation of the neighborhood, without threatening to melt the local power grid.
Solar illumination is not just for residential uses, however. Its application is seen more and more frequently in commercial locations as well, often used to provide overhead lighting for parking lots and sidewalks, and is often used in campgrounds and other emote locations, for example.
The amount of power generated by the photovoltaic cell is dependent on a number of factors, including placement of the unit, cloud cover, and season, all of which determine the amount of sunlight to which the unit is exposed. The US Department of Energy estimates that solar lights are effective across most of the United States. The department also estimates that these lights will produce about 30 to 50 percent less light in winter than in summer.
There are so many excellent solar lights outdoor applications. You can use solar string lights for garden use, solar deck lights, solar landscape lights, spot, yard, LED, Christmas, path, patio, flood, rope, driveway, step, security, dock, umbrella, hanging, walkway, pool, pathway, changing, fence, flagpole, motion, lawn, landscaping, shed, parking, decorative, sign, post cap, lantern, fairy, floating, copper, tree, small, party and dozens of other types of selections. Some of the best brands include Westinghouse solar lights, Moonrays, Hampton Bay, Alpan, Amber, Dragonfly and Village Green.
Solar lights are low in cost and easily maintained. The average LED lamp is engineered to last approximately 25 years, probably longer than the lifespan of the unit itself. The batteries typically last for about 1000 nights, and are easily replaced when necessary. The light from an LED lamp is not as bright as incandescent or fluorescent lamps, but it isn't as harsh and glaring either. The light produced by LED lamps creates a gentler, more attractive ambiance for your yard and landscape.